The North’s top police officer is expected to find out today whether he has landed a new job.
Hugh Orde is on a shortlist of three candidates – along with the chief constable of the British transport police Ian Johnston and Cambridgeshire police chief Julie Spence – for the role of president of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).
Voting among ACPO’s 342 members ended yesterday and the result of the secret ballot will be announced once the counting and verification process has been completed.
If Orde prevails it could see him leave the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) this summer after seven years in charge.
The 50-year-old from Haslemere in Surrey has been credited with steering the organisation through a turbulent phase after it was established in 2001 to replace the old Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).
However, if he gets the ACPO job, he will depart as it faces arguably its biggest challenge to date, following the recent upsurge in dissident republican violence that saw one of his officers and two British soldiers murdered last month.
Earlier this year Orde lost out to Paul Stephenson in the race to succeed Ian Blair as Metropolitan Police Commissioner, having made it down to the final two candidates.